Carly & James

The deliciousness that is Carly and James’ luxe tropical Mossman affair is one for all the senses. Through the stunning images, captured by Zoe McMahon Photography, you almost feel as though you are there, right along with the couple and their nearest and dearest. Carly and James were married on their tenth anniversary at Bali Hai, and felt that there really was no better way to celebrate this amazing milestone than with a massive party with all their favourite people. “We just wanted a fun, relaxed day,” says Carly. “Everything came together perfectly!”

James remembers how the two met. “I stopped Carly on Kensington High Street in London, and told her she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen. She gave me her number, so she obviously didn’t think I was a creep!”

The bride wore a stunning, fitted gown, custom created for her by Philippa Galasso, which they created together over the course of nine months. “I can’t recommend the dress making process enough,” Carly gushes. “You get to try it on at every stage of its inception, and at any point you can change any details!” Her hair and makeup for the day were styled by Rebecca Pinder, with help from her assistant Cheri Cundall. Carly’s bridesmaids all wore their own gowns, representing their own style on the day.

The couple held their ceremony and reception at Bali Hai, which is hidden away on 85 acres in the middle of the Daintree Rainforest. They stayed there for a week in the lead up to the wedding, explaining that it was the perfect place to relax and finalise last minute details by the pool. It was the only place they looked at, and it was a no brainer for them, as they fell in love with the stunning venue.

“James picked my song for me to walk down the aisle to,” tells Carly, who was escorted down the aisle by her mother. “It was “Divenire” by Ludovico Einaudi – such a beautiful composition, which immediately takes me back there now whenever I hear it. We also believe that love is for everyone, despite a legal part of the ceremony not reflecting that. It was important to us to mention that we eagerly anticipate the day marriage is no longer a legal privilege.”

“James’ mother has passed away, and we wanted to honour her during our ceremony. We sat a beautiful framed photograph of her in the front row, and my mum arranged a scented candle and three pieces of rose quartz around it. At the end of the ceremony, she gave a piece of quartz to James, his brother and his sister so they would each have something to keep from the day. We really felt she was present on the day.”

The couple chose Zoe McMahon to capture their beautiful day. “Zoe was amazing!” the couple tell. “We didn’t want to spend hours away from the party posing for pictures, nor did we want the type of wedding photos where the bridal party stands in a line all paired up. We had a laugh and a chat, and she’s so good at what she does that she made our candid snaps look like a vanity fair shoot!”

“I didn’t think marriage would change us, and it hasn’t, but I was interested to see if I would feel any different. I love James with all my heart, as much as I always have, but now we just feel like a little team.”

“Our legend friends, inspired by our venue, made us a Jurassic park wedding movie, playing the parts of the different dinosaurs!” Carly laughs. “The next day, we woke up to hilarious footage of them all eating leaves and running in and out of the bushes, edited to include the theme song and our very own Jurassic Park logo. We had no idea they were even filming. Best wedding present ever!”

The colourful styling for their day was done artfully by Port Douglas Wedding & Hire, who truly created an atmosphere of tropical lushness. The florals and greenery for the day were created by Nine Blooms, who styled the bouquets, as well as the ceremony and reception flowers. “Our flowers were amazing!” says Carly. “Huge, bright, juicy blooms, abundant with tropical leaves, trailing passionfruit vines, tiny cumquats and baby pineapples. I loved them!” Billie from Zed & Bee designed all the wedding stationery, from the invitations to the seating chart and menus, in a beautiful, tropical, lush green print, with accents of lime and lemon.”

The couple had a sit down, banquet style dinner at their reception. “I’m so glad we went for a sit down dinner,” explains the bride. “I’m a chef, and James is a barbecue king, so it just made sense to us to respect the art of dining! We opted for banquet style platters so that our friends and family would be brought together sharing food.”

“We really wanted our first dance to be our first dance, so we didn’t rehearse anything in advance. It was to Ariel Pink’s “Baby”, which is the perfect song to just hold close the one that you love and live that moment,” Carly tells of their first dance. “Our venue was stunning, the weather was perfect and we all got drunk and danced under a full moon.”

Congratulations Carly and James! We just love your glorious wedding. And thank you to Zoe McMahon for sharing it with us!